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    December 1, 1881

    “The Promise of His Coming” The Signs of the Times, 7, 45.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the second epistle of Peter, the third chapter, and the third and fourth verses, we find the following statement: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” From this, we indirectly learn two things: First, that in the last days there will be some who are teaching that the Lord is coming; for if no one were asserting that there is a promise to that effect, there would be no reason for the inquiry as to where that promise may be found. And, second, we learn that there is such a promise, and that those who teach it are correct, for they who question it are “scoffers” who walk after their own lusts.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.1

    The question in itself is a perfectly legitimate one, if it is asked from a sincere desire to know the truth. It is only when asked by those who are “willingly ignorant,” that there is in it the element of mockery. For the benefit of the first class, a Scriptural answer to the question will be given.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.2

    The question “Will Christ come?” does not admit of argument. The answer is given in the Bible in plain and unequivocal language. Admit the Bible to be the inspired word of God, and the question is at once answered in the affirmative. In this article, therefore, little more can be done than to cite the reader to a few of the passages which positively affirm that Christ is coming again to this earth. Those passages only will be quoted which state the simple fact. Other questions as to the time, manner, object etc., of his coming will be considered hereafter.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.3

    Perhaps the oldest direct testimony concerning Christ’s second advent is found in the 14th verse of Jude. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” This testimony, although second-hand may not be impeached, for it is from one who “walked with God,” and is vouched for by “the servant of Jesus Christ.”SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.4

    Another testimony is found in Numbers, the 24th chapter, and 17th verse. It may be objected that Balaam was a wicked man, and, therefore, not entitled to credit; but we must remember that at this time he was under the influence of the Spirit of God, and unable to say anything except as God permitted him. Speaking of what shall happen “in the latter days,” he says: “I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh; there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” The language used, as well as the context, shows that Christ is referred to; and it is his second coming that is spoken of for it is then that Christ’s enemies are to be destroyed. See 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2:8.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.5

    But we have still more positive testimony in the Old Testament. Job, in the midst of his afflictions, comforted himself in the following manner: “Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Job 19:23-27. This language is very positive; and Job shows his sense of its importance by wishing it to be preserved by all the means of writing then known.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.6

    Passing to the Psalms we read the testimony of David. That David was inspired of God, we learn from 2 Samuel 23:2: “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” He says: “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” Psalm 50:3. Again: “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord; for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth.” Psalm 96:11-13.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.7

    We come now to the New Testament, and we shall see that the testimony is even more positive. Paul’s words in Hebrews 9:27, 28 are very explicit: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” There is nothing figurative or uncertain about these words. They are a plain declaration of fact. Either Christ will come the second time, or else Paul is an unreliable witness. The latter, no Christian will admit.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.8

    Again Paul writes: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” Could language be made plainer than this? This is a statement of what shall actually occur. No more definite language can be found in the Bible. It will not do to evade this testimony by saying that Paul did not understand what he wrote. There is not the slightest evidence that he did not fully comprehend the force of every line that he wrote; but even allowing that he did not, the Holy Spirit, which inspired him, certainly did understand what he wrote, and had an object in giving it.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.9

    Although no clearer evidence can be given than that quoted above, yet the words which come to us direct from the lips of our Lord himself, have a peculiar force. In Matthew 16:27 he says: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” The twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew is devoted entirely to a description of his coming, but as we are now giving direct answers to the question “Will he come?” we pass this by for the present. The same subject, however, is carried on in the twenty-fifth chapter, and in the 31st verse Christ says: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” He here speaks of his coming as a settled fact, so that his words amount to a positive statement.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.10

    In John 14:1-3, we have a statement by our Lord, which, if such a thing is possible, is even stronger than any of the foregoing. As Jesus was about to leave this earth, he comforted his sorrowing disciples with the following words: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The point of comfort in the above is the promise that he would come again. The disciples were sorrowing because he had said he was going away. He says, Be not troubled; I will come again. He did not deceive them with a false hope; he will certainly come again. His word is pledged to this and it cannot fail.SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.11

    These are only a few of the many passages which teach that Christ will come again, but they are sufficient. They are so simple that a child can understand them. No other meaning can possibly attach to them than that Christ is coming the second time to this earth. The Bible abounds with testimony to the same effect. And yet there are people who profess to believe the Bible, who say that the second coming of Christ is a non-essential doctrine. If it is not essential, why is it given so large a place in the Bible?SITI December 1, 1881, page 535.12

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